The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Islamic eschatology

Islamic eschatology is concerned with the Qiyamah (end of the world) and the final judgement of humanity. Eschatology is one of the three main principles of Islam, alongside tawhid (the unity of Allah) and nubuuwa (prophecy). Like the other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches the bodily resurrection of the dead, the fulfillment of a divine plan for creation, and the immortality of the human soul; the righteous are rewarded with the pleasures of Jannah (Heaven), while the unrighteous are punished in Jahannam (Hell). A significant fraction of the Quran deals with these beliefs, with many hadith elaborating on the themes and details.

Islam teaches that Jesus (Isa, in Arabic) was not the son of God, but he was a prophet. According to Islam Isa never died and he was not crucified; instead he was raised into heaven still physically alive, where he lives now. At the time appointed by Allah, Isa will physically return to the world, end all wars, and usher in an era of peace, a messianic era. There is a hadith that states that upon the return of Jesus ('Isa), he will abolish Christianity, smash all crosses, and kill every pig.[1]

Islamic descriptions of Jannah (Heaven) are couched in the language of physical pleasure, sometimes interpreted literally, sometimes allegorically. Heaven is most often described as a cool, well-shaded, and well-watered garden. The rewards of the righteous are also described in explicitly physical terms; they include unlimited food and drink (including alcohol, which is forbidden to Muslims), enormous palaces staffed with multitudes of servants, and perfect, perpetually-virgin spouses (see houri).

In recent decades, this belief has been stressed by some organizations, such as Hamas and al-Qaeda, as a way to induce teenage males to become suicide bombers. The excessive stress on this belief is seen by moderate Muslims as a deviation from the traditional Muslim emphasis that it is only the five pillars of faith that bring one to Heaven.

Those Muslims who do not inherit heaven will be punished with a temporary stay in hell, and will go to heaven later as long as there is "one atom of faith in their hearts" as stated by the Prophet Muhammed. Muslims also believe that people who do not accept the Prophet Muhammed after hearing his message, will receive eternal damnation in hell; just as those who did not believe in Jesus and Moses at their respective periods after hearing of their messages will also receive eternal damnation in hell.

The descriptons in the Qur'an of punishment for unbelief are, like the descriptions of Heaven, physical and graphic. Skin is burned off the person's body and then they are given new skin so it can be burned off again. Boiling water is poured down people's throats and it rips their bowels apart. Extremes of heat and cold are applied to the body.

See also

External links

  • Signs of the Last Hour
  • Islamic views on the Day of Judgement
  • The 72 virgins as a reward for Islamic martyrs.,3605,631332,00.html
  • Islam Hijacked - commentary on martyrdom and the rewards thereof
  • Islamic prophecies about Jesus
  • Paradise in Islam
  • The Maidens of Jannat

Last updated: 02-09-2005 19:44:48
Last updated: 04-25-2005 03:06:01